The NSA Is Spying on Tucker Carlson (and Everyone Else)

by | Jul 2, 2021

The NSA Is Spying on Tucker Carlson (and Everyone Else)

by | Jul 2, 2021

1024px tucker carlson (44674207090)

Fox News host Tucker Carlson was mocked on social media this week for stating that he had been told that the National Security Agency was reading his private emails and spying on him. The usual suspects called Carlson paranoid, because there are so many checks and balances to assure the feds would never illegally target a vexatious Biden critic. However, on Tuesday, a dissent by Travis LeBlanc, a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, revealed that one of the NSA’s most intrusive surveillance engines, XKeyscore, may be violating federal law and Americans’ rights and privacy.

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked documents proving that XKeyscore was the surveillance state’s incarnation of paranoia. What did it take for the NSA to justify vacuuming up Americans’ emails and internet data? Merely detecting “someone searching the web for suspicious stuff.” The peril of that farcical standard was compounded because, as Snowden explained, NSA surveillance tools enabled him to “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email.” Thanks to its all-encompassing standard of “suspicious,” NSA has “assembled on the order of 20 trillion [email and phone] transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens,” according to former NSA senior analyst William Binney. Six months after Snowden’s disclosures began, federal judge Richard Leon issued a ruling denouncing the NSA surveillance regime as “almost Orwellian”: “I cannot imagine a more indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.”

After the uproar created by the Snowden revelations, the civil liberties watchdog board leaped into action to investigate XKeyscore. Six years later, the board finished its 56-page report, a confidential version of which was provided to the White House and select members of Congress in March. Unfortunately, the board apparently did not have time to look under any rocks to see what the NSA might be hiding. In a dissent partially declassified on Tuesday, LeBlanc complained that the board failed to ask “how many U.S. persons have been impacted by XKeyscore, how much data the program collects and analyzes, how widely information analyzed through XKeyscore is shared, the number of lives saved, or the number of terrorist events averted as a result of XKeyscore.” In 2019, XKeyscore resulted in “hundreds of compliance incidents,” and LeBlanc noted that “U.S. law and the known collection or processing of U.S. person information are serious compliance issues.” However, the civil liberties oversight board did not “request specific information” about violations of U.S. law by NSA. LeBlanc groused that the board’s report “reads more like a book report of the XKeyscore program than an independent oversight analysis.”

Continue reading this article at The American Conservative

About Jim Bovard

Jim Bovard is a Senior Fellow for the Libertarian Institute and author of the newly published, Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty (2023). His other books include Public Policy Hooligan (2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994), and seven others. He is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and has also written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, The Washington Post, among others. His articles have been publicly denounced by the chief of the FBI, the Postmaster General, the Secretary of HUD, and the heads of the DEA, FEMA, and EEOC and numerous federal agencies.

Our Books

latest book lineup.

Related Articles

Related

TGIF: Immigration in an Nth-Best World

TGIF: Immigration in an Nth-Best World

We live in an nth-best society. It's neither fully libertarian (though libertarians disagree over exactly what that would mean) nor totalitarian like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Maoist China, or North Korea. It's somewhere in between, closer to...

read more
Our Bloody Cultural Psychosis

Our Bloody Cultural Psychosis

Imagine someone who did not know the difference between right and wrong and felt that he could, and should, take anything he wanted from anyone he wanted because, as far as he could see, there was no reason not to. If he wanted to buy something but was low on funds,...

read more
Biden’s Yemen Policy Isn’t Working

Biden’s Yemen Policy Isn’t Working

For the last several weeks, the country of Yemen and their Houthi government have been in the news far more than they were during their war with Saudi Arabia. This is because the Houthis began to attack ships in the Red Sea, a frustrated reaction to the United States’...

read more
No Man Controls Everything in a State

No Man Controls Everything in a State

The constant screeching about various “strongmen” from America’s media and think tank classes seem to have created a widespread misunderstanding about how governments, or really any large organization, work. We perhaps see this the most with Russia, where we hear the...

read more
From Bouazizi to Bushnell

From Bouazizi to Bushnell

Twenty-five-year-old Aaron Bushnell, an active-duty member of the United States Air Force, died on Sunday after setting himself on fire in front of the Israeli embassy in Washington DC as an act of protest against the slaughter in Gaza. Unfortunately, the act is...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This